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Rev. Dr. Robert Williams

“Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace; So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do now know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name.  Amen.”  (Book of Common Prayer, p. 101)

How quickly we have come from the anticipation of Advent, the celebration of Christmas, the excitement of Epiphany, through the sober penitence of Lent on our journey with Jesus to the Cross.  While Jesus lived and breathed in Palestine, the roman cross was a symbol of ultimate rejection and defeat.  But God made other plans.  The Cross where Jesus gave his life became a symbol of the ultimate reality of love’s victory over sin and death.  At the foot of the Cross we hear Jesus’ words of love and forgiveness, offering himself “a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.”

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday when Christ enters the city of Jerusalem in triumph.  To this day, pilgrims reenact the Palm Sunday procession from Bethany to the Holy City.  In the Palm Sunday liturgy the mood quickly changes from triumph to the reenactment of the Passion.  This is a harsh reminder of our fickle human nature, how quickly we can turn from adulation to persecution, from love to hate.  The first three days of Holy Week are given to contemplation of the suffering that Jesus will endure.  Readings include passages from Isaiah, who speaks of the Suffering Servant, in anticipation of the suffering of Jesus.

Holy Thursday begins with joyful celebration of Jesus’ establishing the Lord’s Supper or Holy Eucharist.  It is also the day that Jesus gave us his commandment to love one another sacrificially, as he loves us.  The term Maundy Thursday commemorates the giving of this divine mandate on this day.  Friday is the most serious day of the year when Christ gave his life to restore our relationship with God, the Father.  Holy Saturday is a day of mourning when no church services are held until the Easter Vigil when we celebrate the Resurrection.

I invite you to attend church as often as you can during Holy Week and to live fully into the mystery of our redemption in these Christian High Holy Days.  Come and celebrate Easter with us at St. James-Santiago Tigard when we will joyfully celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection.  Together we will shout, “The Lord is Risen, Indeed!  Alleluia!”

Blessings,

Fr. Bob+

Holy Week Worship Schedule

 Saturday March 19, 9:30 AM
Folding of Palm Crosses and Cleaning

Sunday March 20, 8 & 10:00 AM
Palm Sunday with solemn reading of the Passion
6:00 PM – Spanish HE Rite II, Palm Sunday with solemn reading of the Passion

Wednesday March 23, NOON
Eucharist Service with healing prayers and anointing oil

 Thursday March 24, 7:00 PM
Maundy Thursday Celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper
8:30 PM – (Español) Maundy Thursday Celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper

Friday March 25
10:30-11:30 AM & 5:30-6:30 PM Silent Prayer in the Chapel
NOON Stations of the Cross
7:00 PM (Bi-lingual) Good Friday Liturgy with Veneration of the Cross

Saturday March 26, 8:30 PM
Holy Saturday – The Great Easter Vigil with Baptism and Holy Eucharist

Sunday March 27
8:00 AM – Easter Sunday Eucharist Service Rite I
10:00 AM Easter Sunday Eucharist Service Rite II
6:00 PM(Español) Easter Sunday Eucharist Service  Rite II

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